The virtue of humility as the basis of holiness
Where does the Orthodox faith begin? With the acceptance that Christ came, suffered for us and was resurrected? Or - with the realization of their sinfulness? The Orthodox Church teaches that the main thing is the second, because in it is the virtue of humility.
An amazing at first glance case: they followed Christ and became his disciples for the most part illiterate fishermen, ordinary people, repentant yesterday's sinners. The scribes and the public "righteous" - the Pharisees followed Him for months, but they never cleansed their conscience, they did not repent of their sins. They witnessed many miracles performed by Christ, but they have not changed.
Hearing convictions of sins prevented them from their own pride, pride - the passion that once struck even some angels, turning them into demons. The main thing that underlies the sanctity of man, the opposite of pride is the Christianthe virtue of humility.
Not all virtues are equally given to each of the saints.But this is inherent in everyone. Without it, there is no holiness in man.
The Savior set as an example to everyone the meekness and humility of the heart. Without them, not only spiritual perfection is achieved, but generally calm in ordinary life.
The saints reveal to us that virtues are related to each other as if by kinship. As one of them develops, the others inevitably come along. And they all grow like sisters - at the same time. Then one is a little faster, then another. But in this order, the first is the virtue of humility. She has no limit to perfection.
This virtue protects from pride all the days of a person’s life and even when going into eternity. Dying as a body, the holy ascetics, whose fame was already known in the far reaches of the Christian world, continued to sincerely consider themselves unworthy of earthly and heavenly blessings for their transgressions. Although the Lord has already glorified their holiness, through them manifested many miracles and the gift of prudence.
A particularly subtle and inconspicuous temptation for every man is a high opinion of himself. It is in it that such ailments of the soul as pride and vanity lurk. And the main cure for them is the virtue of humility.
He who sees himself as humble is probably still very far from this ideal. And there are plenty of reasons to think about yourself. This is any, even a small success, and compliance with what is generally accepted, fashionable. Particularly successful in the development of this vice modern psychologists, trying only to reassure the client and indulge his passions, trying to "accept him as he is."
Christ, on the other hand, taught not to dissemble, but to reveal his vices and passions and resolutely get rid of them, beginning after repentance a new holy life.
A separate reason for acquiring a false opinion about oneself is the Christian spiritual life (fasting, prayer, erudition).
This virtue can be strengthened by remembering your past sins and carefully watching the sinful strivings of your own thoughts. Comparing with the Gospel of one’s self, not imaginary, one cannot but come to a penitential opinion of oneself.
It is absolutely impossible to bypass the virtue of humility and at the same time be a believer and at least some saint.